1902 Encyclopedia > Lahore, Punjab

Lahore
Punjab, British India
(now in the Pakistani province of Punjab)




LAHORE, or LAHOR, capital of the Punjab, India, gives its name to a civil division of the British territory in that province, and to the headquarters district of the division.

LAHORE DIVISION.—This division, the most central of the ten into which British Panjâb is divided, is fourth in order of size, 8961 square miles, and fifth in respect of population, 1,889,495 (by the census of 1868), averaging 211 to the square mile. The Lahore division has three districts—Lahore, Firozpûr, Gujrànwâla. The whole area is alluvial plain, for the most part devoid of trees, except such as have been planted since British occupation. It is intersected by the rivers Bâvi and Sutlej, and the Bâri Doâb canal drawn from the Bâvi at the foot of the hills ; also by the old bed of the Bias river deserted about the middle of last century. The Chenab river is the boundary on the north-west, between the Lahore and the Rawal Pindi divisions. Of the towns in the division there are five which have over 10,000 inhabitants, namely, Lahore, Kasiir, Gujranwala, Wazirabad, Fir6zpur. The common language of the rural population and of artisans is Punjabi. Urdu (Hindustani) is the language of the better educated classes, and is everywhere becoming more generally under-stood and used. In Government schools Punjabi is not taught.

So far from the seaboard, the range between extremes of winter and summer temperature is great. The mean temperature in the shade in June is about 92°, in January about 50°. In midsummer the thermometer sometimes rises to 115° in the shade, and remains (on rare occasions) as high as 105° throughout the night. In winter the morning temperature has sometimes been as low as 20°. The rainfall is uncertain as well as scanty: the annual average is about 15 inches; it is sometimes as low as 8°; a total of 25° is exceptionally high. The harvests are greatly dependent on irrigation. The prevailing winds are westerly (N.W. and S.W.) in the hot weather, and easterly (E. and N.E.) in the cold season. The Lahore division became British territory in March 1849, on the annexation of the part of the Punjab west of the Bias river, at the close of the second Sikh war.

LAHORE DISTRICT has an area of 3648 square miles, with a population of 789,666 (438,335 males and 351,331 females;—Sikhs, 119,268; Hindus, 116,287 ; Mohamme-dans, 470,216; others, 83,895). Of this number about 3000 are Europeans and Eurasians, residing chiefly at Lahore and its cantonment of Mian Mfr. The district contains 1455 villages, with an agricultural population of 354,012. The gross revenue is £110,518—£74,353 being derived from the land. Of the area 1,165,440 acres are under cultiva-tion, 811,520 uncultivated, and 357,760 uncultivable. Of the uncultivated area nearly 237,000 acres are unappro-priated cultivable waste land, the property of the Govern-ment. Irrigation is supplied to upwards of 180,000 acres by the Bari Doab canal and three inundation canals from the Sutlej (filled for a certain time each year by the rise of the river), which are Government works, and about 267,000 acres are watered by private wells.

The chief crops are—wheat, about 436,000 acres ; gram (chick-pea, for cattle), 230,000 ; barley, 58,000 ; maize, 25,000 ; rice, 18,000; various food grains, 85,000 ; sugar cane, 2500; vegetables, 7000 ; capsicum, 1500 ; tobacco, 5000 ; poppy, 1000 ; cotton, 40,000 ; oil seeds, 15,000. Indigo, now only grown on a small scale in this part of India, was formerly one of the important products of the country round Lahore, which had the reputation of great fer-tility. The traders on the part of the East India Company in the 17th century paid much attention to the indigo of Lahore. The court minutes of the Company, July 19,1614, notice the proposal of Captain Newport at Surat for " a voyage to the river Syndus, whence the Lahore indigo comes." Captain Downton, writing to the Company in November of the same year regarding the opposi-tion which the English merchants met with at Surat, expresses a wish that they had some hope of being able '' to transport their goods by that fair river of Sinde to and from that goodly country round Lahore." And another trader speaks in 1615 of the great store of indigo to be had both at Ahmadabad and at Lahore. No doubt what was reckoned Lahore indigo may have been in great part indigo from elsewhere, passing through Lahore as the trade centre of that part of India,—just as, at the present day, the rock salt of the Punjab is in other provinces commonly called Laliori, though it comes from the salt hills west of the Jhelum. The importance of Lahore as a centre of trade at the time above referred to, is shown also in some of Sir T. Roe's letters. Lahore now receives indigo from Bengal. The rent per acre of good wheat land in the Lahore district is about 5 rupees. The selling price of wheat in ordinary years is about 26 seers (52 lt>) for a rupee. The water-level in the neighbourhood of Lahore is at a depth of 30 to 36 feet from the surface of the ground. In the tract between the Ravi and the Chenab it is from 15 to 30 feet. In the south and south-west parts of the district, between the Ravi and the Sutlej, the depth is from 40 to 70 feet, except in some strips of low land. After the opening of the Bari Doab canal, the water-level in wells of village lands on both sides of the canal was permanently raised, in some cases as much as 12 feet. The Lahore district has 107 miles of metalled roads and 688 miles unmetalled, 97 miles of railway, and 104 miles of navigable rivers.

LAHORE CITY lies in 31° 34' N. lat. and 74° 21' E. long., on the left bank of the river Bavi, about 900 feet above the sea-level. It is a walled town, about 1^ miles in length from west to east, and about f mile in breadth from north to south. The intramural population is 98,924; with the suburbs Anarkali, Muzang, and Ichra, the number is 128,441. The city walls, rebuilt in the time of Akbar, towards the end of the 16 th century, were of great height, in some parts upwards of 36 feet, and higher at the gate-ways and parts adjoining. Ranjit Singh added a deep ditch, with a broad faussebraie (rauni) between the ditch and the walls, and large outworks, shielding with a massive defence each of the city gates. The fort or citadel, in which was the palace, is on high ground on the north face of the city, and has three gates, one direct to the open plain on the north, and one on each side, east and west, into the city. Only the north gate of the fort is now open. The city gate next the fort on the west, called the

Plan of Lahore.

Roshndi or bright gate, leads into the small enclosure, called the Huziiri Bagh or Court Garden, from which on the one side rises the great flight of steps to the terrace of the imperial mosque, and on the other the ascent through a fine gateway (now closed) to the palace in the fort. The fort and palace, with the conspicuous Soman Burj (pro-perly musamman, octagonal tower; it is a half octagon), present a striking appearance viewed from the open plain on the north.

The site of the present city has been occupied from early times, and much of it stands high above the level of the country outside, raised on the remains of many successive series of former habitations. Some of the old buildings, which have been preserved when changes were going on around, stand now below the surface of the ground about them. This is well seen in the mosque now called Masjid Mvfin (or sunken), built 1560, the mosque of Mullah Rahmat, 7 feet below, and the Shivdla (Hindu temple), a very old building near the revenue office, about 12 feet below the surrounding ground. The houses are of brick, irregular in construction, three and more stories in height, many of them with projecting balconies and lattice win-dows ornamented with varieties of carved woodwork. The streets, narrow and winding, were, under the Sikh Govern-ment, and at the time of the first British occupation of the city in 1846, extremely unregulated and dirty. The water supply, from numerous wells throughout the city, was for the most part exceedingly impure. A cleansing and draining of the streets had to be taken in hand at once, when the city was held by British troops. The governor-general of India, Lord Hardinge, having, after the defeat of the Sikh army at Sabraon, advanced to Lahore and concluded a treaty with the Sikh Government, a British force was left, to hold Lahore for that year (1846)F the fort being reserved for the maharaja. But the occu-pation of Lahore was prolonged. A British resident was appointed, and barracks were built for the troops in the Anarkali suburb. After the annexation of the Panjab in 1849 the government of the country was placed in the hands of a board of administration. The fort was held by the British troops, the rest of the force assigned to Lahore being quartered outside the city in the cantonment of Anarkali. Subsequently a site for a permanent cantonment was selected at Mian Mir, about five miles south-east of the city; and all the troops, British and native, are now quartered there, except the small garrison of the fort.

In 1852 the lofty walls, which greatly impeded the free airing of the interior of the city, were reduced to a height of from 14 to 20 feet, and the whole of the massive out-works were removed. In 1863 the ditch was filled in and the faussebraie levelled; and on this broad strip of new land immediately outside the city walls public gardens were laid out, and supplied with a watercourse from the Bari Doab canal. This work of improvement was carried out under the immediate direction of the native gentlemen of the Lahore municipal committee.

The municipality now includes within its limits the greater part of the civil station of Lahore, which covers, in addition to the ground occupied by the old Anarkali cantonment, a large area south and south-east of the city. All new public buildings have been erected in this civil station outside the walls. The principal of these are the deputy commissioner's court-house, the Government college, the Mayo hospital, the senate hall of the Punjab Uni-versity College (the gift of the nawab of Bahawalpiir). The Lahore Industrial and Antiquarian Museum is in the building erected for the " Punjab Exhibition " of 1864. A building for the school of art in connexion with the museum is in progress. The medical school, at first held in a disused barrack of the Anarkali canton-ment, and then in hired houses, is now about to be provided with a suitable building at the Mayo hospital. The block of buildings erected for the British residency and offices, and used for this pur-pose up to the time of annexation, is now occupied by the chief court,the Government secretariat offices, civil and military, and the offices of the financial commissioner of the Punjab, and of the commissioner of the Lahore division. A new building for the chief court is about to be erected. A large building for the Government telegraph department has lately been finished. The post-office occupies one of the barracks of the old cantonment, and others of them continue to he occupied by the offices of various Govern-ment departments—public works, public instruction, prisons, &c. The central jail stands on the site of the British camp of 1846; and in the large public grounds which contain the botanical and zoological gardens stand the John Lawrence Hall and the Mont-gomery Hall, erected in honour of the first two lieutenant-governors of the Punjab. Of native buildings applied to new purposes there are, in the palace (1630-1640) the Diwan-i-am (or hall of audience), serving as a barrack ibr the fort garrison ; the two buildings called Kliwdb-gah (or sleeping apartments), used as the Protestant and Roman Catholic places of worship for the troops in the fort ; the vaults of the Kdla Burj and Lai Burj (black and red towers) used as commissariat store-rooms ; the Mdti Masjid (pearl mosque), which Ranjit Singh made his treasury, still used for the same purpose. The armoury, in an adjoining building, contains an interesting col-lection of arms and armour of the Mughal and Sikh times.





In the city, the mansion of Raja Dhyan Singh, Ranjit's prime minister (which was the British artillery mess house in 1846), con-tains the Government district school, the Oriental college, and the hall of the Anjuman-i-Panjal), an active literary and educational society. The quadrangle of the Huziiri Bagh (or royal garden) contains the Government normal school. In the Bang Mahal is the large high school of the American Presbyterian mission.
Outside the city, half way between the civil and military stations, is Government House, the official residence of the lieuten-ant-governor of the Punjab, formerly the house of the Jamadar Khush-hál Singh, a Brahman who, with varied fortunes, held high offices under Ranjit Singh. The original building round which the present large house was erected was the tomb of Sayid Nur-ud-din, called also Nur-ul-Alam, of Bokhara (1616), which is the lofty square apartment in the middle of the present building. The tomb of Nádirah Begam was fitted up in the early days of British rule as the station church, and continues to be used for this purpose. (A large new church has been commenced, which will now be the cathedral of the lately constituted diocese of Lahore.) The tomb of Shah Chirágh (1660 A. D.) is, with large additions made from time to time, the office of the accountant-general of the province. The hdradari or summer-house (commonly called chau-burji, the build-ing with four turrets) of Nawab Wazir Khan (1631), long occupied by the museum, is now the station library and reading room.

Educational and other Institutions.—The Punjab University College, established in 1869 to give special encouragement to the cul- _ tivation of Oriental learning, and instruction in European science through the vernacular languages, is supported with much zeal by the chiefs and native gentlemen of the Punjab. It is now about to be raised to the status of a university, with power to confer degrees. The other educational institutions of Lahore are the Government college, the normal school, the Oriental college, the dis-trict Anglo-vernacular school, the high school for boys of European parentage, the Anarkali school for girls, another girls' school of the same class near the railway station, chiefly for the children of the railway employes, St James's orphanage and free school, for poorer children, European and Eurasian. The large and prosperous school of the American Presbyterian mission in the city has been mentioned above. The medical school, established in 1860, gives a five years' course, in the English language, qualifying for a diploma as licenti-ate in medicine, and for employment in the Government service in the grade of assistant-surgeon. A three years' course, in the Urdu language, trains a lower class of students for the grade of hospital assistant or native doctor. The number of students in the upper class is between fifty and sixty, in the lower from eighty to one hundred. The Mayo school of industrial art has in view mainly the cultivation of Oriental art as applied to decoration and manufactures, and, in aid of this purpose, instruction in drawing, modelling, &c. Among other works on which the trained pupils have been employed is the production of plaster casts of the Buddhist sculptures in the museum, obtained from explorations in the north-west districts of the Punjab. St John's Divinity College (Church Missionary Society) gives theological instruction, in the Urdu language, to native Christian students, ten of whom are now pastors of native congregations in different parts of northern India.

There is a Government book depot for the sale of educational and other books; and from the depository of the Punjab Religious Book Society there is a large and increasing sale of books of religious and general literature in English and in the vernacular languages. A large number of books in the native languages are issued annually from the local presses. Nine newspapers in Indian languages are published at Lahore—seven in Urdu, one in Hindi, and one in Arabic. One of the Lahore Urdu papers has the largest circulation of any native paper published out of Bengal. There is one daily English paper, and one under native editorship and management in the English language.

In the Lahore central jail, which is capable of receiving 2000 in-mates, many useful manufactures are carried on by the prisoners. For the carpets made in this jail there is a large demand in the English market. Besides the two smaller jails, the district jail and the female jail, there is a Thaggi jail and school of industry, in which the few remaining Thags (or Thugs—highway stranglers and robbers) are taught useful work, chiefly tent making. A large lunatic asylum occupies the enclosed buildings of one of the old Sikh cantonments.
Trade. —The Lahore municipality has an annual income of nearly 170,000 rupees, the chief source of which is the octroi. Lahore im-ports from other parts of the Punjab, and the hill countries beyond, tobacco, dyes, bamboos, hides, Kashmir paper, felts, and silk fabrics; from Bengal and the southern provinces, indigo, spices, English piece goods, and other foreign products and manufactures; from Bombay, metals and metal work, cutlery, &c., and drugs. The chief manu-factures of Lahore—but they are none of them on a great scale— are woollen and silk fabrics for clothing, carpets (cotton and woollen), embroidery on leather, ivory carving, toys, pottery, turnery, metal work of various kinds, arms, jewellery, &c. Lahore has long been noted for its carpets. One of the travelling agents of the East India Company in 1617, writing from Agra, reports the purchase of various articles, including thirty Lahore carpets. Soon after he writes from the same place, " It requires a long time to get well chosen carpets. True Lahore carpets are not suddenly to be gotten." Two years later, December 1619, another, writing from Sirhind about carpets, says, '' Lahore is the chief place for that com-modity. " A little later in the same century it is observed that from Lahore were obtained fine muslins, flowered and embroidered silks, woollen drapery, and all sorts of carpets.

Health.—The general health of Lahore is good, but the city and civil station, as well as the cantonment of Mian Mir, have suffered from occasional severe visitations of cholera and fever, as well as of small-pox. A large amount of rain within a short space of time, though the total of the year may be under the average, is usually followed by malarious fever, while a larger rainfall, more distri-buted, is healthy. Of much importance to the health of Lahore is the large work which the municipality has executed for the supply of water to the city and suburbs. The water is pumped from wells in the bed of the river Ravi to a covered reservoir in a high part of the city, from which it is distributed. A scheme of drainage and sewerage works, dependent on this supply of water, is about to be carried out. For the military station of Mian Mir water has been brought in by a cut from the Bari Doab canal.

Communication.—Lahore is in railway communication with the most important places in the Punjab, and with the other provinces of India. Its distance from Delhi is 323 miles (Sind, Punjab, and Delhi Railway) ; from Calcutta, 1277 miles (East India Railway); from Bombay by Delhi and Allahabad (East India Railway and Great Indian Peninsular), 1558 miles ; from Bombay by Delhi and Ajmir (R.ajputana State Railway), 1230 ; from Multan (Sind, Pun-jab, and Delhi Railway), 207 ; from Kurrachee, the nearest point on the sea-coast (Sind, Punjab, and Delhi Railway and Indus Valley State Railway), 814 ; and from the Afghan frontier at Peshawar (Punjab Northern State Railway), 271 miles. This last line still wants, to complete it, the great bridge across the Indus at Attok, now in course of construction. A narrow-gauge branch, from this line, for the salt traffic, is open to the bank of the Jhelum river, opposite Pind Dadan Khan. At Lahore there is one central railway station for all the lines, a short distance east of the Delhi gate.

History and Antiquities.—To this account of Lahore under British rule will now be added a short sketch of its previous his-tory, and the works of former days which still remain.
Lahore is said to have been founded by Lava or Eoh, one of the sons of Rama ; and it has borne the names Lavapiir, Loh-piir, Loh-kot, Lohawar, Lahawar. The city of Lava is probably the Laulaha of the Raja Tarangini, or history of the kings of Kashmir. To Kashmir belonged for a long time the country (Lavana or Lavanya) as far south as Lahore, and beyond. Lavana, which also means salt, may have taken its name from the salt region west of Jhelum. Captain Wilford (As. Res., ix. 53) recognized Lahore in the AdfiaKa and AdfioicXa of Ptolemy. Labaka is placed in the country of the Pandiis about the Jhelum, and Labokla in Kashmir territory, which in reality embraced the other. Cunningham (Ancient Geo-graphy of India) suggests that Labokla should be read Labolka = Lava-lahaor Lava-lok. There appears to be no mention of Lahore by the historians of Alexander ; it used to be supposed that it was Sangala or Sagala, in the country of the Cathse, but this place is better represented by the hill still called Sangala, to the west of Lahore, between the Ravi and the Chenab.

At the time of the first Mohammedan invasion of India, in the 7th century, Lahore was in the possession of a Chauhan Rajput prince of Ajmir. Towards the end of the 10th century Raja Jaipal, the ruler of the Lahore territory, was driven back after an encounter, on the frontier (978), with Sabaktagin, who had just risen to the throne of Ghazni. In 1001 Jaipal had to meet the first incursion of Sabaktagin's son Mahmud. In his third invasion of the Punjab Mahmiid advanced as far as Bhera on the Jhelum, which used to be the raja's place of residence alternately with Lahore, and which had been for a time the Hindu capital. The sixth time Mahmud came (1008), a great battle was fought near the Indus with the raja of Lahore, Anangpal, the successor of Jaipal. At length, on his fourteenth invasion of India (1023), Mahmud took possession of Lahore, and appointed a governor, the raja, Jaipal II., having fled to Ajmir.

Under Mahmud and seven successors Lahore continued to be ruled by governors appointed by them. When the kings of Ghazni were fully occupied in war with the Seljiiks, their Indian subjects were roused to revolt, and, with the aid of the raja of Delhi, attacked Lahore. But the city was successfully held against them, and in the reign of Masaiid II., the eighth from Mahmud, it was for a time made the seat of the government (1110). His successor Bahram went back to Ghazni; but his son, Khusni Shah, after repeated defeats by the prince of Ghor, was driven to take refuge in the Punjab, and again made Lahore the capital. When Ghaias-ud-dm and Shahab-ud-din of Ghor were ruling jointly at Ghazni, the latter proceeded to follow up the defeat of their Ghaznavi predecessors by an invasion of the Punjab, and, capturing Khusrii Malik, son of Khusru Shah, took possession of Lahore (1186). It was next seized by the Gakkars, an ancient tribe of the hill country in the north-west of the Punjab. Shahab-ud-din succeeded in expelling them, but they murdered him on his way back to Ghazni, in 1206. Kutb-ud-din, a Turki slave originally, who had held the chief command in India during these troubled times of his late master's reign, succeeded to the sovereignty of the Indian provinces, which ceased from this time to be dependent on Ghazni. He had to fight for the possession of Lahore, which had been seized by a rival, and the seat of government was then trans-ferred from Lahore to Delhi.

The buildings at Lahore of the Hindu times, and of this first Mohammedan period, are few in number. To the former probably belongs the Shivala or temple of Shiva in the middle of the city, now surrounded by more modern additions. It is ascribed to the time of Loh, the founder of the city. The temple of Bhairava (a form of Shiva), about a mile south of Lahore, is generally ascribed to a later period, but Lahore is said by the author of the Raja Tarangini to have been addicted in early times to the worship of Bhairava. To the Ghaznavi times belongs the tomb of Malik Ayaz, governor of Lahore. It is in the heart of the city, and was built about 1046. Hazrat Ganj Bakhsh, who also came with Mahmud to Lahore, is buried outside the Bhati gate, and at his tomb (built 1073) a weekly fair is now held, resorted to by Hindus as well as Mohammedans. About the same time were built the tomb of Pir Ali Makhdum. of Baghdad, and the tomb of Saiad Ishak, near Wazir Khan's mosque in the city.

The Mughal army sent into India by Jenghiz Khan in 1224 and subsequent years swept over the middle of the Punjab and in 1241 captured the old capital, Bhera, and laid waste Lahore and Multan. In 1269 the king of Delhi, Ghaias-ud-din Balban, visited Lahore, and rebuilt the fort which the Mughal invaders had destroyed. His eldest son Muhammad Sultan, the khan of Multan, came to Lahore in 1285, to oppose another invasion under Samar, one of the Mughal generals. The fight in which the young prince fell at Lahore is further memorable from the capture of his friend Amir Khusru, the Persian poet.

After more than a hundred years, during which the history of Lahore is comparatively unimportant, though it was not untroubled, it suffered like other wealthy places in North India from Timiir's invasion in the end of the 14th century. On his return from the sack of Delhi, Timiir sent a force to Lahore, with instructions to raise a large contribution there, to which was afterwards added an order for the plunder of the city and the country around. And then Lahore had a time of repose. In 1450, when Bahlol, the first of the Lodi dynasty, had been raised to the sovereignty at Delhi, and the charge of the several divisions of his territory was assigned to different officers, Lahore was reserved for himself.

The 14th and 15th centuries have left no known buildings at Lahore, though some of the following century are marked by the Pathan style belonging to the earlier period.





The next change in the fortunes of Lahore was a great and im-portant one. In 1522 it passed into the hands of Timiir's descend-ant Baber (Babar), the first of a line of new masters who were to give it new life, though it gained little under Baber himself. Invited by the governor of Lahore, who had become disaffected to the Lodi king, Baber came on with an army, and, having defeated the Lodi forces, he gave up the city to plunder. On his departure for Cabul in 1524 he left Lahore in charge of his relative Abd'ul Aziz. Baber lived occasionally at Lahore, but his reign of frequent contests gave him little rest at any permanent seat of government. Humayun, who succeeded his father Baber in 1530, did not long retain Lahore undisturbed. His brother Kamran, governor of Kandahar and Cabul, who laid claim to the Indian sovereignty, came to Lahore, and by artifice succeeded in gaining the city with-out bloodshed. Five years later Kamran had to march to the relief of Kandahar, and during his absence an attempt was made upon Lahore, which was defeated by his rapid return. In 1540 the Afghans made another endeavour to recover power in India under Shir Shah Stir, who took possession of Lahore and of Bhera, the other old capital, which still retained some importance.

Kamran lived long enough at Lahore to make his mark there in three pieces of work of which there are still remains, but altered and added to by others since, so that of his part there is not much to be seen. One of these was the bdradari or summer house of the Dil-Kusha garden on the bank of the Ravi opposite Lahore, on which now stands the house built over it by Ranjit Singh. Kamran's garden of Shalamar was the beginning of the grander work com-pleted by Shah Jahan. Of his palace at Naulakka, east of the city, only the gateway now remains. Other buildings at Lahore of this earliest Mughal period are the tomb of Khojah Salar Khan and the Khojah Masjid, the mosque now called Niw'm, and the Shiran-wali Masjid.

In the time of Humayun's son and successor, Akbar (1556-1605), Lahore rose to a condition of prosperity unknown at any previous time. To his reign belongs the commencement of its architectural greatness, which increased in the two following reigns. He made the city the royal residence, rebuilt the fort, and began the palace buildings. He rebuilt also the walls which, altered and added to by his successors and now reduced, still surround the city. To this time belong many of the well-known buildings now to be seen at Lahore. The mosque near the Masti gate (opposite the Poor House of the present day) is said to have been built by the emperor's mother. Of the same date are the tombs of Abd'ul Ishak at Muzang, of Kasim Khan, of Mauj Darya (a saint whose prayers procured Akbar's success in his attack on Chitor), and of Shah Miisa. This last, called Sabz Gumbaz, is the earliest of the Lahore buildings coloured with the glazed tile-work commonly called Tcdshi. The tomb of Nadirah Begam, called also Sharff-un-iiissa, a slave of Akbar's, wdiom he named Anarkali, was built about the end of his reign; it is the building now used as the station church. To this period belongs also the mosque of Mullah Rahmat as well as the earliest work of the Sikhs in the city. The bdoli or masonry tank in the middle, of the city was built in 1584 by Ram Das, the guru or spiritual leader of the Sikhs, fourth in order from Nanak the founder of the sect.

A curious and special interest attaches to Lahore in the time of Akbar, in connexion with the first teaching of Christianity in northern India by the Jesuit missionaries whom the emperor had invited to Lahore from Goa, after receiving the visit of Antony Capral at Agra in 1578. They were first Rodolph Aquaviva, An-tony Manserrat, and Francis Heneric. Afterwards came Edward Leighton and Christopher Vega in 1589. When they, like the others, had gone away disappointed, and the emperor's invitation was repeated, two others were sent,—Jerome Xavier (nephew of Francis) and Emanuel Pinnero. Akbar built a church for them in Lahore. He then for a time shut up the Lahore mosques. The church of the Jesuits was thronged with Mohammedans. On the day of Pentecost 1599 a number of converts walked in procession through the streets of Lahore to the church, and were publicly baptized by Pinnero. Benedict Goes passed through Lahore in 1603, on his journey to solve the question of the identity of China and Cathay, and was kindly received and helped by Akbar. Lastly, a new missionary, Father D'Aeosta, came to Lahore soon after the beginning of Jahangir's reign. The marks of Christian work and success at Lahore at this period remained on some of the buildings there when the men who had been brought under its influence passed away and no traces remained with their children. De Laet says that in 1630 (three years after Jahangir's death) he saw over one of the palace gates at Lahore figures of our Saviour and of the Virgin. They are described also by Thevenot, who visited Lahore in 1666 ; he says they had been put up by Jahangir to please the Portu-guese. Remains .of the Jesuit church also were to be seen when Thevenot was at Lahore. Some traces of Christian art are still to be seen, which may be referred to the same period,—the winged heads on the principal gate of the fort and of the Gola sarai (1622).

When Jahangir succeeded to the throne of Akbar, Lahore was immediately the scene of one of those family contests which so often marked the Mughal reigns. His son Khusru aimed at power, and attempted, unsuccessfully, to obtain possession of the city. Among those on whom the emperor's displeasure fell was the Sikh leader, Arjun Mai, fifth guru, compiler of the Adi Granth, who had succeeded his father Ram Das in 1581. Having offered up prayers for Khusru he was imprisoned by Jahangir, and died the same year, 1606. His little tomb stands just outside the fort.

The buildings at Lahore of Jahangir's time are numerous. The most important and the best preserved are—the Saman Burj, and some other parts of the palace in the fort, built during several suc-cessive years (1606, &c.); the sarai at Shahdara (1612); the tomb of Saiad Nur-ud-din, Nur ul Alam, Bukhari (1616), now Government House ; the tomb of Shah Abu'l Maali, and the mosque beside it (1616); the masjid of Dai Sadhu-wali (1621); the tomb, near Shala-mar, of Madhu Lai Hussein, a converted Hindu (1621) ; the little tomb, covered with many coloured kdslii, of Farid Pakkiwala, a pupil of Mauj Darya (1621); and the Gola sarai (1622), which re-tains some fine specimens of the same kind of ornamentation.

Shah Jahan's reign was, at Lahore as elsewhere, the greatest and most vigorous period of Mughal architecture. Lahore as well as Delhi testifies, though in a minor degree, to the power and taste which seem to have inspired others besides the emperor to raise the many monuments that still remain of the grandeur of his time. The "first place is due to the splendid tomb of Jahangir, erected by his widow Nur Jahan, at Shahdara, on the bank of the Ravi oppo-site Lahore (1630), near which was afterwards built (1632) the tomb of her brother Asaf Khan, Jahangir's commander-in-chief, and then (1650) that of the widowed queen herself. Before these, in order of time, were the gate and ascent called hdthi pdon to the fort (1629), and then, in 1630 and following years, the series of fine palace build-ings within the fort, whioh have since been altered and added to by the emperor's Mughal successors and by Ranjit Singh.

Two of Shah Jahan's principal officers of state were his chief supporters and followers in the construction of the great works of his time at Lahore. One of these was Ali Mardan Khan, a Persian, formerly governor of Kandahar, then successively gover-nor of Kashmir and of the Punjab, who was also an eminent engineer and architect. The other was the court physician and afterwards prime minister, Hakim Alam-ud-din, better known as the Nawab Wazir Khan. Ali Mardan Khan built, under Shah Jahan's orders, the finest of the great sarais for travellers on the imperial road from Delhi to Lahore and Lahore to Kashmir. He proposed and carried out (1639) the canal from the Ravi at the foot of the hills, which was called the Lahore canal. Other canals of the same kind he executed elsewhere. His chief work at Lahore is the tomb of his mother (1627), where he himself also was buried (1657), and which is known as the tomb of Ali Mardan Khan. Wazir Khan's chief works at Lahore are his own baradari or summer house (1631), the sarai and harnmdrn (baths) in the street now called Hira Mandi (1635), the Bang Mahal or painted palace (1635), and the Pari Mahal or fairy palace (1638). Prince Dara Shiko, the emperor's son, who made Lahore his place of residence, built (1640) the tomb of Mian Mir, his religious teacher. Of the other works at Lahore of Shah Jahan's time the principal are the tombs of Nawab Jafar Khan (1631), of Shah Bilawal (1636), of AbuT Hassan Khan (1641), of Shah Jamal (1651), and of the emperor's son, Prince Parviz (1651),—also the tombs of two notable literary men, Muhammad Salah, author of Bahdr Danish, and Sheikh Inayat-Ullah, author of the historical work called Shah-jahdn-ndmah. The mosque in the city called Wazir Khan's was built (1641) by the emperor in honour of his faithful servant whose name it bears. It is faced with beautiful kdshi work of various colours, a kind of ornamentation largely used in the buildings of this time at Lahore. Decorated in the same manner is the gateway of the Guldbi Bagh made by Sultan Beg, the emperor's son-in-law. The Shalamar garden, restored and largely extended by Shah Jahan (1640), is one of the finest works at Lahore of his time. During Shah Jahan's reign Lahore was visited (1626) by two English travellers Mr Crowther and Mr Still ; in 1638 by Mandelslo, a member of the Holstein embassy to Persia; and three years later by Manriquez, a Spaniard.

Aurangzib (1658-1707), though he lived little at Lahore, contri-buted to it one of the largest and most important of the existing buildings, the Bddshdhi Masjid, or imperial mosque, built 1673-80. Two buildings at Lahore are connected with the name of Aurang-zib's daughter, Zib-un-nissa, authoress of a book of poems called the Diwdn-i-Makhji. One is the gateway of her garden (1665) called Chau-burji (four towered) and now Si-burji (three towered), one of the corner minarets having been cut away by the water of a neigh-bouring nullah. The other is her tomb, built 1670. The tombs of Shah Chiragh (1658), of Sultana Begam, daughter of Shah Jahan, wife of Sultan Beg (1660),and of Abd'urRizak,Makki(1673), which is known as the lila gumbaz, or blue dome,—are the best of the other remains at Lahore of the work of Aurangzib's reign.

From the reign of Aurangzib's successor, Bahadur Shah (Shah Alain I.), Lahore has little to show except two small buildings of 1710, one Hindu and one Mohammedan—the Chaubara, or hall, of Chajju Bhagat, and the tomb of Pir Ain-ul-Kamal. One of the city gates bears the name of Shah Alam. In the reign of Mohammed Shah, the third from Shah Alam (1719-48), Lahore came in the path- of another of the ruthless invaders from the west, Nadir Kuli Khan, better known as Nadir Shah (1737), wdio rapidly swept over the plains of the Punjab to the chief city. He was met but not actively resisted by the governor of Lahore, and Nadir's army en-camped for a time at Shalamar. Again, in the repeated invasions of Ahmad Shah Abdali (1748-1767), in the reigns of his namesake Ahmad Shah and of Alamgir II., Lahore had to take its part, with varied fortunes, but with no important permanent result. To the reign of Ahmad Shah (1748-54) belongs one little building which makes some show in the city, the Masjid Tildi, or golden (now commonly called Suiiahri which has the same meaning), having its domes covered with gilt plates of copper (1750). This is the latest work of the kind at Lahore before the Mohammedan power in the Punjab was subverted by the Sikhs, who obtained temporary pos-session of the city eight years later, and, with rapidly growing influence as well as numbers, soon became a formidable enemy of the nominal rulers, till, finally, they became masters of Lahore, under Ranjit Singh. Lahore was conferred upon Eanjit in the end of last century by the last of the invaders of India from the west, Zaman Shah, when the last of the reigning Mughals, Shah Alam II., had lost all real hold of this northern part of his empire. The long, vigorous, and expansive rule of Eanjit Singh brings Lahore within the general history of the Sikhs and of the Punjab, and con-nects the Punjab directly with the history of British India.

Except the additions which Ranjit Singh made to the defences of the city little work of usefulness or adornment was done in his days at Lahore which did not owe something very directly to works of earlier times. Ranjit built a large summer house, which he called Tar-ghar, on the remains of prince Kamran's Dil-kusha, or country palace, on the bank of the Ravi opposite Lahore. The fine marble baradari which he set up in the middle of the Huziiri Bagh was taken from Jahangir's tomb at Shahdara.

Lahore in the time of Ranjit Singh has been the subject of many descriptions and narratives from many pens. Very interesting are the accounts in Victor Jacquemont's Letters and Sir Henry Law-rence's Adventurer in the Punjab. The pictures of Ranjit's court at Lahore introduce also the figures of men whose names became very familiar to English ears in the later days of Ranjit's reign: the Hindu brothers Dhyan Singh and Ghulab Singh, the men of action and intrigue ; :he Mussulman brothers Aziz-ud-din and Nur-ud-diu (of the Fakir family as it is called), the men of business ; the sagacious counsellor Dina Nath; the French military officers Allard, Ventura, Court; and others. But the great figure always in these Lahore pictures is the small, one-eyed maharaja himself. Unedu-cated, but full of knowledge, which was power,—of a feeble frame worse enfeebled by himself, but of astonishing energy and indomi-table will,—he made the whole Punjab his own, and created for his own use an army the most powerful and best organized that Britain has ever encountered in India. Ranjit Singh died in 1839, leaving to his successors this dangerous legacy, consisting of sixty regiments of regular infantry and a larger force of irregulars, numbering in all 92,000 ; cavalry, 31,800 ; artillery, 171 garrison guns and 384 field pieces.

Immediately after the close of his life began the wild anarchy and bloodshed of which Lahore was the constant scene for years follow-ing. Within four months Ranjit's son and successor Kharak Singh was removed by death, in what way is not clearly known. The reign of Nan Nihal Singh, who came after him, lasted a few days only. A longer time of power was enjoyed by Shir Singh, who at length was murdered in 1843. After a time of worse confusion, constant fighting, and more murders, Dhalip Singh, a young son of Ranjit, became maharaja,—the government, such as it was, being in the hands of his mother, and of the vizier Lai Singh. Seven years after Ranjit Singh's death a great part of his great army, which had come to feel its strength and make it felt, when no longer held in the iron grasp of its only master, crossed the Sutlej into British territory, and took thus the first step towards its own destruction. The result, after four great conflicts, one of them a conflict of unexampled peril to the British power in India, was the first occupation of Lahore by English troops in March 1846. Of Lahore in British hands an account has been given above.
The tomb of Ranjit Singh, a building of no great architectural merit, which stands just outside the Roshnai gate, was in progress when the city was taken possession of in 1846, and was completed after the annexation of the Punjab in 1849.

See A:in-i-Akbari; Elliot, Historians of India; Calcutta Review, vols, i., ii., vi., viil., ix., xxvi., &c; Lahore, by T. H. Thornton and J. L. Kipling; Bernier's Travels; D. J. Martin Honigberger, Thirty-Five Years in the East; Thevenot's Travels; Joannes de Laet, De Imperio Magni Mogolis; Manouchi, General History of the Mogul Empire; Victor Jaequemont, Journey in India; Adventurer in the Punjab (republished as Adventures of Bellasis); Annual Administration Reports of the Punjab, &c. (R. M'L.*)



The above article was written by General Robert McLagen.



Search the Encyclopedia:



About this EncyclopediaTop ContributorsAll ContributorsToday in History
Sitemaps
Terms of UsePrivacyContact Us



© 2005-14 1902 Encyclopedia. All Rights Reserved.

This website is the free online Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition and 10th Edition) with added expert translations and commentaries